As most of you probably heard by now, Iwata Satoru, the CEO for Nintendo passed away. He was Nintendo’s fourth President. It is thanks to him that we have our current Nintendo gaming systems; he came up with the idea for the Nintendo DS and Wii after the flop of the Gameboy Advance and Gamecube.
What made Iwata-san so great was that he really loved gaming. He wasn’t just a CEO, he was a gamer. It was this attitude that brought Nintendo to new heights. He said it best himself: “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”
While he was not the president of Nintendo when I was growing up as a kid, for me, Iwata represents the feeling gaming gave me as a child. My parents had the first Nintendo console in America, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). We would sit down and play together and figure out (and argue over) how to beat the bosses in Mario and Zelda. (As an aside: man, the first Zelda game was HARD and the dungeon music still gives me the creeps to this day. I have to play it with the sound on mute. Seriously. Go listen for yourself. I’ll wait.) I would even sneak out of bed at night and watch them play; I couldn’t get enough during the daytime!
This togetherness that Nintendo brought to my family, Iwata-san wanted for everyone. He wanted gaming to be for all ages, young and old alike (Hence the name of the Wii consoles, it’s a pun off of “we”). He wanted Nintendo to be something that would bring families and friends together, like it did for mine.
So thank you Iwata-san. Thank you for making Nintendo what it is today. Thank you for wanting gaming to be all-inclusive. We will never forget you or your accomplishments.